Spitfire at Kirkwall Airport on June 2nd and 3rd 2010
An innocent conversation between two Orcadians living miles apart saw the realisation of hearing a Merlin engine over Orkney for the first time in many decades.
Derek Mowat, now an Edinburgh Hotelier was visiting Orkney at the end of march 2010 in his ex RAF Chipmunk. A suggestion to Neil Thain, Terminal Manager at Kirkwall, that a Spitfire was going to be at the Perth Air Show in June and the pilot, Anthony Hodgson, had shown interest in a visit to Orkney, in particular, due to the timing due to the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain on the 10th June, set an interesting challenge
A few phone calls later and the fundraising commenced. Businesses and private individuals generously pledged more than enough funds to cover the event.
Unknown to Neil and Derek, two contributors had fundraised in their own right, raising over a £1000 between them. Another couple of phone calls later and a Pitts Special aerobatic aircraft and an SE5A replica was added to the list.
The Spitfire landed on the afternoon of Wednesday 2nd June and was placed, with the kind help of Loganair Engineering, in the new hangar for a contributors function.
With the kind assistance of all parties, the display aircraft was parked outside the terminal for most of the day on Thursday 3rd June until the display in the evening.
Several visits were organised for the historic event with visits from Kirkwall Grammar School, Glaitness Primary School and members of Orkney Vintage Club and the Royal Air Force Association.
The timetable for the display on Thursday 3rd was:
1850 Pitts Special
The display took place over Kirkwall Bay in a line North to South from Hatston Pier, which will allow viewing form Hatston round to Carness.
More details of the event can be found at http://orkneyairpower.blogspot.com